Do you get to spend much time with a hopeful person? Someone who lives wisely, listens intently, and continuously pours life, courage, perspective, encouragement and confident expectancy into your soul? Contrast that with the person who seems to be constantly burdened by life, and regularly appears pessimistic, deflated, cynical, and ultimately quite hopeless. Most likely you prefer spending time with a hopeful heart…and long for that attitude yourself.
As we peruse the Scriptures for insights into the hopeful heart we soon discover that the majority of biblical references focus on pinning our hope on the God of hope. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit,” Romans 15:13.
God is the primary source of our hope. When we put our hope in God, we see Him at work with growing clarity and conviction no matter the circumstances of our lives, “though he slay me, yet will I hope” (Job 13:15). “Put your hope in God” cries the psalmist (Psalm 42:5), for “my hope comes from him” (Psalm 62:5). When we put our trust completely in God’s hands His plan is to “give us a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). Hope is an anchor for our soul (Hebrews 6:19) and our foundation of hope is found in God’s Word, for “in his word I put my hope” (Psalm 119: 74; 130: 5).
So what happens when hope is stolen from us? When rocks, weeds and thorns infiltrate the soil of our faith, and hope is robbed and replaced with counterfeit gods that seek to satisfy but always leave us hollow? “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12), so when hope is held at a distance the heart grows cold, hard, crushed, and devastated. Hope is easily swept away when hardship or disappointment disheartens and discourages the heart. Such hope “deferrals” come upon us suddenly while others creep in over time, and often unaware.
Hope isn’t unbridled buoyancy or glassy-eyed optimism. Christian hope comes from the deep-seated conviction that God reigns supreme in every aspect of our lives. Despite the suffering and adversity of this world, we have every reason to cling to hope. The life, death, and resurrection of Christ is what fills our hearts with hope, both for the present and the future. With eternity in our hearts, we are filled to overflowing with hope.
Having witnessed God at work in your own heart, and observing Him at work in the hearts of others, what are the reasons for your hope today? Count the many blessings that have come your way and notice how God is alive and at work in, through, and around you. By attending to God you are fixing your eyes on Him. That’s how hope is birthed and kept alive within your heart. Choose today to show your world the transformation that emerges from the hopeful heart of God.